By: Rolf Li

We all think about the American/Canadian dream when we work, we study, and when we make sacrifices. We have been taught growing up that we need to work, to have a nice partner, and to have a nice house. The government constantly reminds us that we need to be “good” citizens, and we need to pay our taxes and obey our police officers. But to be fair, we get rewarded for our “good” behaviour. We get the cars we want, the food we desire, and the houses we dream of. But let us take a deeper look at how the government tells us that we have money, water, and food, and then give us rebates to buy more useless junk. We get all the money, jobs, and houses we want, but what happens to those who make less than the “average” “good” Canadian/American?

To fully grasp the concept of the “working” class, we only need to go back about 200 years or less during the time of slavery. If you had huge amounts of debt, you would be offered a position as an “indentured” servant. This meant that if you worked for an amount of years, you would be set free and with no dues. We think that we have evolved past that stage, but in reality, we are far behind. Today, the average Canadian is $27,000 in DEBT. That does not include mortgages and car loans. Our “middle” class is falling farther and farther behind as capitalism takes hold. Everyone is complaining about how we don’t have enough money to buy that new Mercedes, or not enough to buy that 4000 sq. foot house. If you are complaining, can you also complain about how people are dying of easily preventable infections? Let me tell you this, I am ANGRY at people (AND myself) for letting poverty skyrocket.

The math does not lie. Assuming that the average Canadian makes $38000 a year, they take home around $30000. When you break down the costs of living and other fees, the zakopinion team has uncovered that citizens who make $38000 a year, have only $113 left over a month without clothes and medicine costs when living near a city. These hardworking people put more effort AND more TIME into their work, and they get less. THIS is whats wrong with our current system. I believe that we can do BETTER than this mess we have created. Our team has broken down the ways that we can help the poverty class, and create an EVEN stronger Canada.

1) Raise current taxes for corporations from 24% to 28%. This increase will seem like a lot on the outside, but not on the inside. Walmart made $450 Billion USD last year IN PROFIT. By increasing taxes by 4%, we have made over $30 Billion in one year from all the major superstores. This move allows the government to spend more on essentials such as childcare, inexpensive food, and advanced infrastructure. With that $30 Billion, math shows that with $10 Billion, we help the lives of 15% of people in Canada, while benefiting us all. For those who are worried that big companies will relocate and move headquarters and such, let me remind you that in the USA, corporate taxes are at 31%. This 3% will still pull companies to our soil.

2) Revitalize welfare and benefits such as comprehensive health care. I cannot shout this anymore. Welfare is one of the MOST GENIUS ideas ever invented. Welfare not only goes to the people who need it most, welfare also prevents mass inflation AND depression. Picture this. A man who makes $2 million a year after taxes spends some of his money, and when you give $20,000 to him will he spend it? No way! When you give $20,000 to a family that lives paycheque to paycheque, they will spend EVERY PENNY of it. This prevents depression and it pushes the economy along. And that money you distributed to the “poor”? It all comes back to you at the end of the year in benefits and taxes.

3) Increase the minimum wage by 5% a year for 10 years. By doing this, we keep the future generation of the lower class from falling even deeper into debt. When we keep the minimum wage that low, the people cannot pay for something 5 years down the road. When we keep minimum wage increasing at the same rate as some goods and services, we aren’t making the problem worse. Also, when we increase the minimum wage, we DON’T have to pay more for our good. Because our economy is regulated and slightly a free market, if we DON’T want to pay more, WE DON’T have too. The corporations will not give up on a 35 million people market for anything in the world. See? Solving issues is not that complicated.

Although we have seen some improvement over the last decade, there is still a lot more we need to do. Charities and other groups are sucking money away from us, and there is no guarantee that they work. If we follow these steps, we will see a dramatic effect over the next 5 years for the better. There is no use in other people like myself being angry if there is no action. We are the generation that creates change, and the government sure isn’t helping. Sure many people say there are political challenges, and even economical challenges, but NO ONE is doing anything PRODUCTIVE. We need our governments to step up their efforts, and even WE need to pull it together, or there will be dire consequences.

© [Zakyr Rhemtulla] and [Zakopinion], [2013-2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Zakyr Rhemtulla] and [Zakopinion] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.